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February 14, 2011

Money League: See how much the top football clubs make


Let me start by saying I am a HUGE Arsenal fan. I catch every game that’s on TV here in the States. 

If you’re living under a rock and don’t watch football, the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League begin Tuesday with Arsenal hosting Barcelona on Wednesday in the biggest tie of the round.  Catch the game on Fox Soccer Channel at 2:30pm ET.  If you want to see the game played at its absolute highest level, this is the game to watch.  It will be a beautiful sight.

Annually Deloitte publishes a list of the top 20 football clubs in the world based on revenue.  As always, the Guardian Datablog published a viz to go along with its article.  They published this absolutely hideous stacked bar chart.  Seriously, this is what they published.  How do you even know which team is which?  There is a fancy mouse-over feature.  This stuff kills me!

With Tableau, there are so many better ways to make this data interesting.  Here’s my take:

Interacting with the viz you can quickly see that:

  1. The Barclays Premier League dwarfs the other leagues in all revenue types
  2. The Barclays Premier League has seven of the top 20 teams (click on any of the league logos to filter the list of teams)
  3. Real Madrid is a MUCH bigger club than its city neighbor Atletico de Madrid (350% bigger)
  4. Manchester United is also a MUCH bigger club than its city neighbor Manchester City (229% bigger).  I hate them both, but Manchester City even more since they think they can buy themselves a title.  No chance with an Italian manager; the football is way too negative!
  5. Arsenal dominates matchday revenue, thanks in large part to the spanking new Emirates Stadium (I can’t wait to see it some day).  I heard on TV today that they generate $3M every game
  6. The top three clubs in terms of broadcasting revenue are all in Italy.  According to the NY Times, “Italian teams negotiate their own television contracts, with the top clubs like Inter Milan, A.C. Milan and Juventus garnering huge deals”, whereas it’s a shared revenue pool in the other leagues.  Heck, Real Madrid’s rank in broadcast revenue puts them at 17th, but their overall revenue has them at #1.
  7. German clubs lead the way in commercial revenue.  I know virtually nothing about the Bundesliga other than their games are fun to watch and the chanting by the fan is endless

Does anything else stand out to you?

Go you Gooners!


  1. Andy,

    I have been an avid follower of your work to date, and only now do I find out your are an ARSENAL fan. To say I am disappointed is an understatement of epic proportions.

    All this blogging about the ARSE has distracted you from the big game on TUESDAY night when the might SPURS took down the Italians on their home turf. I wish arsenal a small amount of luck in Spain, but my money is for North London to be represented by Spurs in the quarters.


  2. Thanks for the laugh Tom. What a great game last night and a great victory for the Premier League. Unlike those that actually live in London, as an American, I have no ill will towards Spurs. They're a joy to watch now that Harry is at the helm. Hopefully he won't make a mistake and take over the national team.